Sunday, June 9, 2013

2013 Season Recap #3: Amazing fantastic surprises, and races!

February was a very exciting month, full of racing and riding and training and snow. A couple of very exciting things happened:

1) Qualified for Nationals through the Appalachian Series.
2) Trained with SBX pro Nick Langkamp at Seven Springs.

Ale riding through the Alley with racer Nick. 

(I'm linking to Jb's video edits below, and you can check out his blog for Coach's perspective on February Appalachian Series races, and training with Nick).

There (thankfully) was enough snow for the USASA Appalachian Series SBX races at Wisp early in February, which were qualifiers for Nationals bids. Gray and I were the only competitors in our age groups, so we teamed with other racers who also were the only riders in their age groups, to add a little competition. Jb won all of his races (he had one other rider in his group).  With the team qualified for Nationals, Jb threw us a pizza party. 

The next exciting moment was the surprise session with Nick Langkamp.
I “met” Nick through Facebook. He’s one of Jb’s athletes, and I’ve been in touch with him for training tips, sharing workout playlists, and to get feedback on various boardercross-related things. So it was an amazing fantastic surprise to finally meet him in person, and even better to have a full day of riding and video review with both Nick and Jb. I left Springs that day exhausted, and with a good list of things to work on prior to Nationals. Jb did an excellent job putting together the GoPro footage from all of our cameras, you can check them out on his YouTube and Vimeo pages:
Jb-cam, Ale-cam, Nick-cam.

Riding through the rollers with Jb and Nick, Ale-cam view.
The last set of local races occurred at the end of February at Holiday Valley in NY, with the Western NY Series. I definitely noticed an improvement in tackling features on the course (and felt more comfortable at speed) due to training with Jb, and having worked on some of the skills that Nick told me to practice. Click here for the Jb video edit. 

Holiday Valley start gate
Even though I had learned so many things throughout the season (and over the past few years since I started racing), I had a hard lesson on “focus and course control” during practice on the Holiday Valley course. Jb and I were increasing speed with each full run, and on our last full practice run, I pushed myself a little harder than before. However, in focusing on increased speed, I didn’t pay attention to my placement on the course and ended up taking a roller too fast without moving my legs at the appropriate time to absorb the roller. This turned the roller into a jump, and the landing would have been okay except for the mini ditch (that I should have avoided).

The front of my board landed in the "evil ditch of pain," which flung me forward. The first thing to hit was my right shoulder, which bounced me off of the snow and I landed again with my face. After my body stopped bouncing around, I was dazed for a few moments, and my shoulder was in extreme pain. I figured that the worst damage possible was some type of muscle tear, and I made the decision to keep training, and to race the next day. This injury added an extra level of challenge to the pre-Nationals snow and gym training, but I never imagined what actually had happened to the shoulder (more on this in a future post…).

Other Posts in the 2013 Season Recap Series:
2013 Season Recap #1: The Magic 8 Ball predictions were pretty close...
2013 Season Recap #2: Gimme gimme snow (and data)!
2013 Season Recap #4: COLORADO
2013 Season Recap #5: The Finals. 
2013 Season Recap #6: Snow fun photos, and thanks.

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